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Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen) - Stern-Combo Meissen CD (album) cover

STERN-COMBO MEISSEN

Stern-Combo Meissen (Stern Meissen)

 

Symphonic Prog

3.67 | 22 ratings

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mandrake2
4 stars Stern Combo meissen's first LP is a gem of an LP in a field - East German Prog - not exactly bursting at the seams with masterpieces (unlike Italian Prog). But this great debut is worth checking out, blending Hawkwind-lie space-rock with prog dynamics. On "Der Kampf um den Sudpol" the first side opens with atmospheric wind effects until an icy Rick Wright-type organs starts snaking out of the ether in a sublime Eastern modality, while synths fizzle and fart in the background, oscillating their way into the stratosphere. SCM sing in German, which also sets them apart from a lot of german bands (Eloy, Jane), but I think in the end this is better as the German vocal inflection often struggles around English language lyrics (see Grobschnitt's "RockPommels Land"). Stern Combo Meissen's LP's suffer from a bad vinyl pressing like many Eastern European rock LP's but the energy of their arrangements overcomes this one minor quibble. "Eine nacht auf dem Kahlen Berge" opens Side Two with some great keyboard work - its the keyboards that really shine on this LP as the six-man line-up boasts three keyboardists!! Thomas Kurzhals moog work is first rate, reminding me of the style of SBB from Poland. LP closer "Licht in das Dunkel" finishes in style with a great extended Yes-like dynamic, lots of moog-riffs and great swathes of string backing on organ and string-synth (although the sleeves dont' discern - it sounds like SCM use Solina string synths rather than Mellotron's giving them a Tangerine Dream like texture). Overall, a charming little addition to the German Prog collection - a band with a very varied sound taking in influences from Wish You Were Here-era Floyd, ELP, Hawkwind and Yes. A great mix of space-rock and prog and a keyboard players dream.
mandrake2 | 4/5 |

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